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How can you determine an engines internal condition when it has been used in saltwater but is raw water cooled and only has a Fresh water Flush system attached. The motors are 25 years old and with only 500 Hrs on them.
I know the instant response is that they Probably have problems, but can they be taken apart to some degree to know for sure? Thanks for any input!
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Back in 1999, I bought a 1985 Carver 26 Santa Cruz (Model 2667) and used it successfully until about 7 years ago. Back in the Fall of 2011, we caught the tail end of a hurricane and a lot of damage was done. The boat did not go into the water in 2012 as it took most of the summer for Mrs Eggbert and I to rebuild the wharf. Below you can see the storm damage:
2013 brought on building a new gangplank for the floating docks. Not much else got done due to other priorities.
In 2014, I built scaffolding and raised the engine to change the badly rusted oil pan. I changed the pan with the engine suspended. Using a single piece pan gasket made the job a lot easier.
2015 was the year I discovered the trailer sub frame was too badly rusted to put the boat in the water. So far gone, I was scared to even move the boat. So I had to weld in new frame members with the boat on the trailer. Borrowed my father’s generator to run my MIG welder. Welding goes quickly, but the preparation takes a long time.
Some of these efforts are shown below:
By that time, my aging parents (Dad 89, Mom 88 ) were starting to mention it’s been at least 4 years since they were last out on the water. They seem to be holding their own, but their health isn’t all that great. Time to push this boat thing a bit harder.
So after about a month of fixing everything I could find wrong, in the water it went:
Next was to test her out. First item was to get the engine running. I had forgotten about the fuel filter/water separator so I removed it and the top picture below is what I found. I had added that it was 4 year old gasoline, but I noticed this morning my storm pictures were taken in the Fall of 2011, so the gas is from the summer of 2011.
Oddly, I’ve emptied the filter several times since then and no more water to be found. I’d have thought if there was water in the bottom of the tank, it would be picked up as it sloshed around when the boat was underway.
Back to the story and the next failure. At the dock idling, I noticed the temperature gauge was starting to read higher than normal. A quick investigation revealed there was no cooling water being pumped to the heat exchanger. During this investigation I noticed the port exhaust riser was badly cracked, so even if water had been pumping, it would have sprayed out of the riser cracks and into the bilge.
The crack is undoubtedly from residual water freezing during the winter. I’m always meticulous about flushing with fresh water, then RV antifreeze and finally draining the system, however I did start the engine every year in the hope it would keep it from seizing up, and perhaps one year I forgot to do my normal winterization. My mistake, and fairly costly to fix.
I took the salt-water pump apart and found all the blades from the impellor were missing. I bought the whole rebuild kit which converts my old pump from a multi-piece assembly to one with a single piece rear housing. Rebuilding was easy. Removing and installing the pump was not.
All the lines had to be cleaned out as well, as pieces of impellor blades could be in them.
Also put a new port Riser on. Easy to get all the nuts and bolts off the old one, but the darn thing was severely stuck and I spent nearly a whole afternoon getting it off.
Took the boat for a quick run and everything seemed fine. Finally time for a good sea trial. Ran it under a good load, but after about 20 minutes disaster happened. It started with me smelling burning rubber. Slowed to an idle and then noticed smoke billowing out the stern. Opened the hatch and suddenly couldn’t see from all the smoke billowing out.
Good thing I did this test with my son, and not Mrs. Eggbert. She would have had a fit and either a heart attack, stroke or a panicked jump into the water would have occurred!
Turns out the Riser I didn’t replace was plugged up with rust and grunge. The riser is a device that mixes cooling water with the exhaust to keep the exhaust components cool. The upper rubber coupling going to the elbow from the Riser split and burnt a little bit. The lower coupling going from the elbow to the y-pipe burnt rather badly.
Luckily nothing burst into flame. I was able to replace the riser within a few days.
And wouldn’t you know it, just the evening before the “great boat fire of 2016”, I ordered a brand new fish finder for the boat. Turns out Mrs Eggbert is quite fascinated to watch and see what it’s like on the bottom; not so much fish, but underwater structure. Anyway, I think my boat budget for this year has now been exceeded by a fair bit.
I have to admit, that day took its toll on me. First the fire, then the ordering of parts, next the removal of the old parts. After the exhausting day, I wound up having a bit of rum… and fell asleep early.
Only one extremely tedious job remained and that was ro replace the tilt/trim sensors. Running the wires without removing the stern drive can be done, but I don’t recommend it!
Finally in 2017, I managed to get my parents on two trips which they enjoyed very much. Dad’s 91 now, and Mom, 90, and they are looking forward to another trip or two this year!
I am too! Not using the boat for those years makes it seem like I just acquired it all over again.
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Just got this boat working through a full service & general shake down for the glorious UK summer will may get for about 3 days this year
Anyone got any specific things i need to check / sort that isnt part of the normal servicing etc ?
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Newbie question: I've recently acquired a 1989 Carver 3207 (aft cabin) powered by twin Crusader 350s. What is the estimated planing speed for this boat? It cruises nicely at 8 knots and can do ~25 knots at 4,000 rpm. But at top speed I can sit there and watch the fuel gauges drop! At what speed can I first go up on plane before watching my fuel consumption go through the roof?
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So, here is an abridged version of the story. My significant other(I'll call her my wife for ease of spelling) and I bought a boat in the last few days of summer last year, a 1995 Carver 330 Mariner from a, I'll just call him a "salesman" in Toms River, NJ. The survey was average for a boat of her age and the sea trial was deemed acceptable. So after a couple of weeks, I recruited a crew from work which included a licensed captain. We set off on a beautiful morning with the tide on our way to Chesapeake City, MD. We had a few small minor issues along the way but nothing the three of us couldn't handle. Did I mention all three of us are helicopter mechanics? We made it down the coast of NJ. It handled Barnegat inlet with ease... 6-8 foot waves, no problem. And good people, I tell you my new chariot was running great! Somewhere north of Atlantic city, with me at the helm I noticed fluctuating RPM's on the port engine. We incorrectly diagnosed this as seawater being ingested into the engine from a leaking exhaust elbow. We attempted repairs, but never got the engine restarted. As many of you know, maneuvering a twin screw boat on one engine can be tricky. Try doing it on a boat that is underpowered on one engine in open ocean... and well you can see where I'm going. We were pushed a little closer to the beach than any reasonable person in a boat of this size should be, to make a long story a little shorted we ran aground... three times. Maybe it was just one grounding and three sand bars... either way. Fast forward to today. It turns out it wasn't the engine at all it was the transmission. It developed a leak somewhere along the lines and basically seized up. So I'm out about $20,000 for repairs on a boat I paid $30k for, and I don't trust the boat anymore. I want to sell it. The wife says we spent so much we may as well keep her! I want to take it out to pasture and shoot to put it out of my misery!
This is my third boat. I traded in a 2004 FourWinns 248 Vista. I absolutely loved that boat, but we just out grew it. So my question is: What would you do? Is the wife right? Or, should I cut my losses and move on? I know I'm the only one who can answer this question, but, I'm interested in other opinions and thoughts.
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